My most loathed task of the day is creating a wholesome, healthy, imaginative and exciting lunchbox for my children to take with them to school. There are 101 things I could add to the creative design of a box full of food, and about 101 things my children won't eat.
I think I have, however, worked out what works for me (and them) and what doesn't - it's mostly trial and a lot of error!
Finding a great lunchbox is worth its weight in gold - leakproof, easy to use and easy to wash.
This space-saving lunch box by Joseph Joseph is a clever alternative to the usual collection of plastic containers and bags that are required to transport your sandwiches and snacks to work or school.
There's a large base compartment for sandwiches and dry food, and a top compartment with a divider for wet food or snacks. The silicone lid has a locking collar to keep everything fresh and safely held inside - everyone hates leaks. When lunch has been successfully consumed, the empty top compartment fits inside the base and it all locks together again for easy transport home.
I suggest adding the matching magnetic knife, fork and spoon set that fit together snuggly into a unique silicone carry case.
Alice Scott Lunch Box
I love Alice Scott's Blush Pink lunch box as her designs are edgy and vibrant. Team with a cool water bottle and you're ready for the day.
This innovative Dot Hydration Tracker Water Bottle from Joseph Joseph means you can track how much your kids are drinking as its lid adds a dot each time you fill it up. It's great for them to see this too - everyone loves a challenge.
Round Bamboo Lunch Pot
This lunch box is exciting as it's made entirely of biodegradable, sustainable bamboo - one of the fastest-growing plants in the world. If you're taking a green approach and using less plastic and packaging, then this lunchbox ticks that box. Bamboo is a hardy plant that doesn’t need much water, or any fertiliser, to make it grow and thrive, and it only takes a year to grow back after it’s been harvested. What's particularly clever is that it's naturally anti-microbial, making it perfect for holding food.
Winnie The Pooh Lunch Bag
With Winnie the Pooh on our screens and in our minds, how could I not include this divine lunch bag featuring the bear of our childhoods? As part of the exclusive Harrods X Disney Winnie the Pooh collection, this bag is crafted in PVC-coated cotton for easy cleaning and is printed with the adorable bear, little piglet and their iconic red balloon in front of the iconic Harrods store.
Caution: If you're making a packed lunch for the very first time, this bag might make you more tearful at the school gates!
When it comes to the contents of the lunchbox - aside from a wealth of tips and tricks from the BBC's Good Food website - I suggest the following as a great start to creating a box of culinary deliciousness:
* Go Bite Size.
There's nothing nicer than opening a box containing lots of little bits of what you fancy! We call these 'snacky bits' as it feels like a treat, and nothing like having to eat a giant warm, soggy sandwich and a melted chocolate bar.
Chopped fruit and vegetables, dried fruit, breadsticks, hummus, carrot sticks, cheese, ham, and yoghurt make great tasting snacks that constitute for a great fun lunch!
* Go DIY.
Let your children build their own lunch. Circles of ham, cheese, cucumber, and bread mean that they can make a sandwich for themselves. If they don't like bread, then slices of cucumber filled with cheese and ham are a great sandwich alternative.
* Go Shapes.
I have amassed quite a collection of cookie cutters that make the best-shaped sandwiches. Stars, dinosaurs, flowers, mermaids, a few cactuses and a jigsaw piece can make making (and eating) lunch so much more fun. Be gone boring squares and triangles.
Fruit Cookie Cutters, Set of 5
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